With passage of the 1987 Groundwater Protection Act (House File 631), Iowa articulated a comprehensive policy regarding groundwater contamination. The Act established a scheme to raise revenue in three ways: pesticide manufacturing registration fees, pesticide dealer licensing fees, and fertilizer taxes. Among other provisions, retailers of nitrogen-based fertilizers must pay an additional $.75 per ton sold based on an 82 percent solution and prorated for different solutions. Continue reading
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This 1989 law prohibited the use of once-through water systems in the Twin Cities after 2010, and immediately raised the price of using once-through water 200-fold for commercial users and 50-fold for non-profits and schools. The Act, administered by the Division of Waters of the Department of Natural Resources, requires that a conversion plan be submitted by users by Jan 1992. The once-through systems must be converted within the design life of the equipment based on the ASHRAE service life for primary system components. Continue reading
The state of Vermont uses a Land Gains Tax to protect rural land from short-term speculation. First effective in 1973, the tax imposes very high taxes on sales of land held a short time and sold for a large profit.
The land gains tax is imposed on the gain from the sale or exchange of Vermont land that was held less than six years, and the land is not part of the first ten acres beneath or contiguous to the seller’s principal residence.
Twelve days before the Iowa caucuses, the New York Times Magazine cover, in large white letters on a deep black background, carried the single word title of its lead article: Clintonism. In the article Matt Bai, the Times reporter on all things Democratic, with a big D, made one undeniable assertion and two highly debatable ones.
Bai’s contention that Bill Clinton’s "wife’s fortunes are bound up with his, and vice versa" is incontestable. The primaries and even more so the general election, if Hillary is the nominee, will be a referendum less on Hillary than on Clintonism, the philosophy and strategy that guided the White House for eight years. Hillary clearly welcomes such a prospect, as demonstrated by her constantly reminding voters that she was "deeply involved in being part of the Clinton team."
Recently, the New York Public Library announced it would rename its main library the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library in return for his contribution of $100 million to its $1 billion capital fund drive. As a born and bred New Yorker, I recoiled at the news and the message it sends to future generations of New Yorkers.
The 42nd Street library is by all accounts the jewel in the crown of the New York Public Library system. In both form and function, it honors the word"public." Henry Hope Reed has accurately described the library as "a people’s palace of triumphant glory." Continue reading
In her latest comment on the "Bridge to Nowhere" controversy, Sarah Palin appealed to the self-reliant, individualist, rugged, anti-government image most Americans have of Alaska. "If we wanted a bridge," she declared, "we would build it ourselves."
Actually,much of Alaska long ago lost the tradition of self-help. Palin might be campaigning on an anti-government, do-it-yourself platform, but her state is the most dependent on the federal government of all 50 states. Washington sends Alaska more money per capita than any other state. Alaskans receive back from the federal government almost $2 for every$1 they send to Washington. It’s a sweet deal.
Dear President-elect Obama,
Congratulations on your historic election. Now the truly heavy lifting begins. You have declared your intention to make "a new energy economy" your "No. 1 priority." We urge you to follow a path that leads not only to changes in the fuels underpinning our energy system but also to changes in the structure and dynamic of that system.
Why are we hearing so much about voter fraud and so little about election fraud? After all, the odds of someone voting fraudulently are about the same as those of an American being struck and killed by lightning.
A microscopic evaluation of election data in the 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington state revealed that voter fraud occurred approximately 0.0009 percent of the time. An analysis of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004 percent.
Responding to criticism that President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet is composed largely of recycled Bill Clinton appointees, Obama’s close advisor David Axelrod told the New York Times, "He’s not looking for people to give him a vision. He’s going to put together an administration of people who can effectuate his vision." A few days later, after introducing his foreign policy team, Obama himself declared, "I will be responsible for the vision that this team carries out, and I expect them to implement that vision once decisions are made.”
Which leads to the inevitable question: What is Obama’s overarching vision? What is the philosophical framework that will animate his administration and guide his cabinet officers to adopt policies different from those they embraced in the past?
Changes in state tax formulas, often made at the behest of big business lobbyists, have led to a sharp increase in the amount of "nowhere" income — corporate profits that are not taxable in any state. Throwback rules are a simple means of eliminating nowhere income and ensuring a fair playing field for local businesses that cannot convert profits into tax-free "nowhere" income. Continue reading